I don’t know about you, learning doesn’t always come easy to me. I recall taking my mock GCSE exams and staring at my revision, wondering why some kids do really well seemingly without trying, whereas for me it was a battle.

There is a great debate about nature versus nurture. Is academic success due to some special chromosome or is to just down to the way you are taught to learn, and the effort you put in.

An article from Matthew Syed has shed some light on the conundrum. He has found that many studies have found that top performers learn no faster than those who reach lower levels of attainment – hour after hour, they improve at almost identical rates. The difference is simply that high achievers practise for more hours. This was a Eureka moment for me, so it’s about the hard yards – structured and regular studying is the secret.

Syed has found further research which has shown that when students seem to possess a particular gift, it is often because they have been given extra tuition at home, by tutors or parents.

This is not to deny that some kids start out better than others – it is merely to suggest that the starting point we have in life is not particularly relevant.

So many kids, develop a mindset that rationalise poor exam results with a feeling that they are somehow not bright enough. This mindset has a way of becoming self-fulfilling, as it leads to a lowering of expectations.

So with so many kids revising for their summer exams, what words of wisdom can we impart? Well, it is as simple as giving plenty of time for revision, covering the subjects as many times as you feel necessary until you feel that you know the answer. If you don’t understand something, then you can visit Superprof for some one to one help online, of course.

Good words of advice, I think. Best of luck kids.

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Laura is a Francophile with a passion for literature and linguistics. She also loves skiing, cooking and painting.